Ask Riot How You Get That S+ on Urgot

By Calisker, Ostrichbeernana

Welcome to Ask Riot.

This is a space where we focus on your questions and give you answers.

Urgot, Champ Mastery grades, and the evolution of League of Legends are on tap for this week.

Have a question (or two...hundred) yourself? Head over Ask Riot and sign into your League account. Check out the Do’s, the Don'ts, and then ask us something. We’ll archive the answers once we’ve accumulated a few of them. One thing to note, asking the same question over and over again won’t help your cause. (Yes, I’m talking to you, who asked why you’re still banned from Hextech Crafting and did 40 times. Please don’t do that.)

Ask Riot

We’re committed to reading every question but can’t guarantee we’ll answer them all.

“Okay, why not?”

Some questions may already be answered elsewhere or won’t be right for Ask Riot. For example, we won’t typically be launching new products or features here or talking about issues we’ve already gone into more depth elsewhere (but we can clarify individual points!). Even if your question isn’t the one being answered, we’re listening, and we’ll be sharing your questions with the Rioters who are working directly on the things you’re curious about.

Note: We will be off next week, but will return on July 14th to answer more of your questions.

Do you think there will ever be a point where League of Legends is "finished" and won't be updated but still maintained "skins, e-sports, etc." or do you think it will continuously evolve, the glorious League-olution?

Aspirationally, we operate as if League design is something we can theoretically finish. Realistically, that probably won’t happen within the lifespan of the game for a couple of reasons I’ll go into below. However, when we treat the design as something we can finish, we hope that helps us make decisions that zero in on great design instead of just bouncing around arbitrarily.

You might be asking yourself if we think it’s possible to zero in on a perfect game, why do we make so many changes every patch? First, evolution is one of the League design values. Riot was founded on a belief that developers should continually improve their product rather than operate in a “fire and forget” capacity, where you ship a game, maybe patch a couple of bugs, and move on to the next game. While there are truly some games that stand the test of time, for videogames in particular, it’s easy for a product to look and feel old if you aren’t out there constantly keeping up with the state of the art and player expectations. We feel the same way about game design. If a champion starts to feel like it uses old mechanics or can’t compete with more recent champions and all of their flashy movement abilities and 3-hit passives, we look at them for an update.

Second, we know that the game would continue to evolve even if we took our foot off the pedal and did nothing. Even in very old fighting games with little or no developer support, the meta (in this case, which fighter is considered dominant and what the most favored playstyles are) frequently continue to shift. A certain character or move may be considered unbeatable, until someone develops a counter-strategy, and then maybe that one becomes the new status quo. We think this would happen with League as well. The risk is that it could happen slowly. If the game hits a state where say tanks feel unbeatable or Ahri is used every game, or split pushing is all anyone does, then it’s likely players would eventually solve these problems and the meta would shift again. But that could take months or years and those players really looking for a dynamic experience almost every game (which is something we aspire to create/offer you) might get bored and move on from League. We wring our hands a lot about whether a new trend is a blip on the radar that will be gone next week or something that has ossified and requires us to step in with some hefty patch notes.

And as you point out, even if we hit a point in which we could minimize our updates for balance and game health reasons, we would still want to offer things like new champions, skins, and esports events, because those things are fun and help keep the game fresh.

-Ghostcrawler, Game Design Director

What is up with Urgot and why is he such a difficult champion to update?

At his core, Urgot has both a very muddied thematic and gameplay fantasy. Half of Urgot’s identity consists of being a hulking heap of horror that intimidates and maliciously runs down anyone who stands in his way. At the same time, Urgot is also a high-tech weapons platform that has the ability to relentlessly bombard and terrorize his enemies from fairly long ranges. The dissonance between these two identities courses throughout his entire character, as a result, Urgot lacks a cohesive identity.

From a game design standpoint, Urgot has some cool toys that simply don’t mesh well together. For example, Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverser is one of the coolest and most iconic abilities in the game, but it awkwardly forces him to move directly into the middle of the fray, a playstyle the rest of his kit doesn’t fully support. Urgot also has several low-satisfaction mechanics, such as the damage reduction debuff on his passive, that functionally get the job done but lack excitement. As a whole, Urgot’s gameplay is fairly outdated - his kit lacks nuance due to being somewhat simplistic and doesn’t allow for interesting interactions outside of trying to dodge E.

At the end of the day, we want to re-define Urgot with a clear and unified champion fantasy. This will likely involve figuring out the right way to wed his dissonant identities while also adding in new unique aspects that set him apart from the rest of the League cast. Lastly, we want fresh gameplay that really delivers on the fantasy of being a Zaun-Enhanced Abomination from Noxus that better matches our more mature game design standards. Urgot isn’t on the listed Champion Update schedule at this time, but these are the kinds of problems we will need to tackle with his design when we do get to him.

-Statikk, Lead Designer on Champion Update

What is in the champ mastery grades formula?

The grades you receive are driven by how you stack rank against all other players in your region who also played your champion and position across various performance categories. We don’t reveal the exact formula so that it can’t be min-maxed as we really want to avoid incentivizing playing for stats like CS or K/D/A rather than playing to win. However, the variables are fairly intuitive in terms of what you would expect to be important to winning.

-Riot Socrates, Lead Game Designer

Please feel free to hit us up in the comments. Each of the Rioters who answered will do their best to engage in a conversation with you.

2 years ago

Related Content